Recently in Katie Florence Category
AMHERST - Two years ago, the University of Massachusetts women's lacrosse team was just happy to earn a spot in the NCAA tournament. Despite their eventual drubbing by top-seed Northwestern, the appearance represented a huge step for the Minutewomen, which hadn't earned a spot in the field since 1984.
UMass is happy to be back in the field this year after falling in the play-in game in 2010. Despite being an underdog to No. 6-seed Loyola in Baltimore on Saturday, the Minutewomen (17-2) will be disappointed if their stay lasts just one game.
"We've come a long way since (2009). We were a really young team my freshman year. We've really grown since then," junior goalie Katie Florence said. "I want to win so bad. Making it to the first round was a big accomplishment my freshman year, but I think we're a better team and we have the potential to make it further. We have a chance to advance and achieve more than just the bid to the tournament."
The UMass women's lacrosse team is a mosaic that keeps adding more pieces.
The 16th-ranked Minutewomen (16-2), who demolished Richmond, 16-12, to capture their third straight Atlantic 10 tournament championship, next hosts Canisius in an NCAA play-in game tomorrow (1 p.m.) at McGuirk Stadium in Amherst.
Last week, junior attack Jesse O'Donnell earned MVP honors of the A-10 tournament after scoring five goals against the Spiders. UMass senior attack Jackie Lyons added a pair of goals and became the school's career scoring leader with 220 points. Freshman attack Katie Ferris chipped in three goals and tied the UMass single-season goals mark of 52.
You can say that Katie Florence has lacrosse in her blood, but she also has it deep in her heart and soul. That love for the game has driven her progression to become one of the best goalies in college lacrosse this season.
Now in her junior year at UMass, Florence grew up surrounded by the game. Her father, John, was a long-stick defenseman for Denison University in Ohio and her uncle Tom was a star goalie for Penn State. Florence's earliest memories include her father playing in multiple tournaments at Lake Placid and Vail. She also recalls the constant presence of his lacrosse sticks lying around the house.
The Norfolk, Mass., native first picked up the game when she was 11. Within a few years, she discovered that her true home on the field was between the pipes.
The Daily Collegian ran its UMass lacrosse season preview edition today with several previews, sidebars and video interviews feature the women's team.
Minutewomen return after championship season
Women's lacrosse just as good as men
Minutewomen return 10 starters for 2011
McMahon becomes head coach
Women's Lacrosse 2011 Schedule Google Map